Gaza: Palestinian crowds, mainly supporters of Islamic Hamas movement, gathered in the Gaza City on Saturday to celebrate the movement's 25th anniversary.
Despite a shower of rain in the morning, Palestinian men, women and children flocked in their dozens to al-Katiba square and gathered before a huge stage, wearing headbands and waving green flags in support of Hamas.
Khaled Meshaal, Hamas' exiled leader, who touched his head to the ground in celebration, arrived in Gaza on Friday from Egypt, attended the rally and delivered a fiery speech during his first ever visit.
As per BBC report, he said he would never recognise Israel, and insisted Palestinians would never give up any part of their land.
He is also expected to unveil a strategy for Hamas and talk of reconciliation with its rival, Fatah.
Apart from a brief visit to the West Bank in 1975, Meshaal had not visited the Palestinian territories since his family left in 1967.
In 2007, Hamas removed Fatah from Gaza by force and parts of the West Bank are governed by Fatah.
Egypt negotiated with Israel for Meshaal's trip, obtaining assurances that Meshaal will not be hit in his first- ever visit to Gaza.
Hamas, an extension of Muslim Brotherhood, has been an adversary of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Islamic and Arab delegations are also marking the anniversary of the Islamic movement which has been controlling Gaza since 2007.
Last month, Egypt brokered a ceasefire that ended eight days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. More than 160 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed during the conflict.
(With Agency inputs)
First Published: Saturday, December 08, 2012, 09:20